The Poland Senate voted 57-23 for a new bill, which outlaws any blame to Poland for its involvement with the Holocaust, on Feb. 1.
This controversial bill has caused a global reaction. The passing of this bill brings to light Poland’s effort to rewrite history and confront its concern of the country’s negative image in World War II.
According to CNN, the “Poles are tired of hearing others blame them for the horrors of the Holocaust” and this new law “aims to defend the ‘good name of Poland,’ but instead it criminalizes talk about historical truths.”
This news of Poland’s new Holocaust law did not come as a shock for some SMU students, particularly those who had just traveled to Poland less than two months ago over winter break. SMU freshman Ruhi Deshmukh attended the Poland trip this past winter break and is not surprised by the passing of the bill.
“I’m not shocked by the news at all,” Deshmukh said. “It has always been such a sensitive topic in Poland. Even before we went on the trip, we were highly advised to be careful of what we said because we never know how someone would take it, but I think the law itself is a little excessive and there could be a less harsh way of implementing it.”
While the new law has stirred controversy among many, SMU students have already experienced Poland’s significant effort to defend its name. As time moves forward and the law is implemented across the country, the repercussions and consequences of this law are soon to follow.